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Patent Searching and Data


Title:
HINGED, UPWARDLY ROTATING GUARD RAIL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/033701
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A guard-rail system for road side installation, including: a guard rail; a plurality of anchoring assemblies for the rail; each assembly including: (i) a rigid standing post, having a bottom end adapted for installation in a ground surface; (ii) a hinge, disposed near a top end of the post; (iii) a rigid elongated upper member, connected to the standing post by means of the hinge; (iv) a connection member connecting between an upper end of the upper member and the rail, and (v) a support assembly attached to the standing post and adapted to support the upper member, wherein, in a passive mode, the support assembly fixes said guard rail in a first position, and wherein, in a vehicle collision mode, the anchoring assembly is adapted whereby, responsive to a force applied in a normal direction with respect to a broad face of the guard rail, the upper end of the elongated upper member upwardly rotates around the hinge, whereby the guard rail adopts a raised position with respect to the first position.

Inventors:
LEBEL, Shlomo (29 Pool Street, Kibbutz Mahanayim, 12315, IL)
Application Number:
IL2012/050330
Publication Date:
March 06, 2014
Filing Date:
August 28, 2012
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
LEBEL, Shlomo (29 Pool Street, Kibbutz Mahanayim, 12315, IL)
International Classes:
E01F15/00
Foreign References:
DE2461942A1
EP1533423A1
US3589681A
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SHALOM LAMBERT IP & ENGINEERING LTD (59 Yakinton Street, POB 1078, Maalot, 21520, IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:

1. A guard-rail system for road side installation, comprising:

(a) a guard rail;

(b) a plurality of anchoring assemblies for said rail; each anchoring assembly of said assemblies including:

(i) a rigid standing post, having a bottom end adapted for installation in a ground surface;

(ii) a hinge, disposed near a top end of said post;

(iii) a rigid elongated upper member, connected to said standing post by means of said hinge;

(iv) a connection member connecting between an upper end of said upper member and said rail; and

(v) a support assembly attached to said standing post and adapted to support said upper member;

wherein, in a passive mode, said support assembly fixes said guard rail in a first position;

and wherein, in a vehicle collision mode, said anchoring assembly is adapted whereby, responsive to a force applied in a normal direction with respect to a broad face of said guard rail, said upper end of said elongated upper member upwardly rotates around said hinge, whereby said guard rail adopts a raised position with respect to said first position.

2. The guard-rail system of claim 1, said support assembly including an angle adjustment arrangement adapted to adjust an initial angle between said upper member and said standing post, to a particular initial angle out of a plurality of initial angles.

3. The guard-rail system of claim 1, said anchoring assembly further including at least one energy absorbing element, connecting between said standing post and said upper member, and adapted to resist said upward rotation, whereby energy from a vehicle colliding against said guard rail is absorbed.

4. The guard rail system of claim 3, wherein said energy absorbing element includes a plurality of chains of varying length, connected to both said standing post and said upper member, whereby said upward rotation is resisted by said chains in a sequential manner.

5. The guard rail system of claim 3, wherein an additional energy absorbing element is attached under a downward rotating side of said upper member, said additional energy absorbing element including a plurality of rigid elements adapted to be pressed between said upper member and said standing post during said collision, and gradually bent, further absorbing the energy of said vehicle collision.

6. The guard rail system of claim 3, further comprising: a road surface wherein said ground surface is disposed adjacent to, and in sloping fashion with respect to, said road surface.

7. The guard rail system of claim 3, wherein said post is disposed within said ground surface at a substantially perpendicular angle with respect to said ground surface.

8. The guard-rail system of claim 7, wherein said post is disposed within said ground surface at a depth whereby said hinge is disposed below a height of said guard rail.

9. The guard-rail system of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein said guard rail is a substantially longitudinal guard rail.

10. The guard-rail system of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein said guard rail is disposed along a length of a roadway having said road surface.

1 1. The guard-rail system of any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein, in said first position, said elongated upper member is disposed at an angle, with respect to said standing post 3, that exceeds 90 degrees.

12. A guard-rail anchoring system for anchoring a road side guard rail to a ground surface, the system comprising:

a plurality of anchoring assemblies, each anchoring assembly of said assemblies including:

(a) a rigid standing post, having a bottom end adapted for installation in a ground surface;

(b) a hinge, disposed near a top end of said post;

(c) a rigid elongated upper member, connected to said standing post by means of said hinge; said member having a connection member adapted to connect between an upper end of said upper member and the road side guard rail; and

(d) a support assembly attached to said standing post and adapted to support said upper member,

wherein, in a passive mode, with the road side guard rail attached to said connection member, each of said anchoring assemblies supports said upper member, to fix said guard rail in a first, undisturbed position;

and wherein, in a vehicle collision mode, with the road side guard rail attached to said connection member, said anchoring assembly is adapted whereby, responsive to a force applied in a generally normal direction with respect to a broad face of the guard rail, said upper end of said elongated upper member upwardly rotates around said hinge, whereby the guard rail adopts a raised position with respect to said first position.

Description:
Hinged, Upwardly Rotating Guard Rail

FIELD AND BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to roadside guardrails, and, more particularly, to roadside guardrails having hinged supports that facilitate an upwards rotation of the guardrail during a vehicle collision therewith.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to one aspect of the present invention there is provided a guard-rail system for road side installation, including: a guard rail; a plurality of anchoring assemblies for the rail; each anchoring assembly of the assemblies including: (i) a rigid standing post, having a bottom end adapted for installation in a ground surface; (ii) a hinge, disposed near a top end of the post; (iii) a rigid elongated upper member, connected to the standing post by means of the hinge; (iv) a connection member connecting between an upper end of the upper member and the rail, and (v) a support assembly attached to the standing post and adapted to support the upper member, wherein, in a passive mode, the support assembly fixes said guard rail in a first position, and wherein, in a vehicle collision mode, the anchoring assembly is adapted whereby, responsive to a force applied in a normal direction with respect to a broad face of the guard rail, the upper end of the elongated upper member upwardly rotates around the hinge, whereby the guard rail adopts a raised position with respect to the first position. According to another aspect of the present invention there is provided a guard-rail anchoring system for anchoring a road side guard rail to a ground surface, the system including: a plurality of anchoring assemblies, each anchoring assembly of the assemblies including: a rigid standing post, having a bottom end adapted for installation in a ground surface; a hinge, disposed near a top end of the post; a rigid elongated upper member, connected to the standing post by means of the hinge; the member having a connection member adapted to connect between an upper end of the upper member and the road side guard rail; and a support assembly attached to the standing post and adapted to support the upper member, wherein, in a passive mode, with the road side guard rail attached to the connection member, each of the anchoring assemblies supports the upper member, to fix the guard rail in a first, undisturbed position, and wherein, in a vehicle collision mode, with the road side guard rail attached to the connection member, the anchoring assembly is adapted whereby, responsive to a force applied in a generally normal direction with respect to a broad face of the guard rail, the upper end of the elongated upper member upwardly rotates around the hinge, whereby the guard rail adopts a raised position with respect to the first position.

According to further features in the described preferred embodiments, the support assembly includes an angle adjustment arrangement adapted to adjust an initial angle between the upper member and the standing post, to a particular initial angle out of a plurality of initial angles.

According to still further features in the described preferred embodiments, the assembly further includes at least one energy-absorbing element, connecting between the post and the upper member, and adapted to resist the upward rotation, whereby energy from a vehicle colliding against the rail is absorbed.

According to still further features in the described preferred embodiments, the energy absorbing element includes a plurality of chains of varying length, connected to both the standing post and the upper member, whereby the upward rotation is resisted by the chains in a sequential manner.

According to still further features in the described preferred embodiments, an additional energy absorbing element is attached under a downward rotating side of the upper member, the additional energy absorbing element including a plurality of rigid elements adapted to be pressed between the upper member and the standing post during the collision, and gradually bent, further absorbing the energy of the vehicle collision.

According to still further features in the described preferred embodiments, the guard rail system further includes a road surface wherein the ground surface is disposed adjacent to, and in sloping fashion with respect to, the road surface, and wherein the post is disposed within the ground surface at a substantially perpendicular angle with respect to the ground surface.

According to still further features in the described preferred embodiments, the post is disposed within the ground surface at a depth whereby the hinge is disposed below a height of the longitudinal rail. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention is herein described, by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings. With specific reference now to the drawings in detail, it is stressed that the particulars shown are by way of example and for purposes of illustrative discussion of the preferred embodiments of the present invention only, and are presented in the cause of providing what is believed to be the most useful and readily understood description of the principles and conceptual aspects of the invention. In this regard, no attempt is made to show structural details of the invention in more detail than is necessary for a fundamental understanding of the invention, the description taken with the drawings making apparent to those skilled in the art how the several forms of the invention may be embodied in practice. Throughout the drawings, like- referenced characters are used to designate like elements.

In the drawings:

Figure 1 provides a perspective view of a guard rail system according to the present invention;

Figure 2 provides a first, largely top perspective view of one embodiment of the support assembly of the inventive guard rail system;

Figure 3 provides a second perspective view of one embodiment of the support assembly of the inventive guard rail system; and

Figure 4 provides a third perspective view of one embodiment of the support assembly of the inventive guard rail system. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

The principles and operation of the guard rail system according to the present invention may be better understood with reference to the drawings and the accompanying description.

Before explaining at least one embodiment of the invention in detail, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited in its application to the details of construction and the arrangement of the components set forth in the following description or illustrated in the drawings. The invention is capable of other embodiments or of being practiced or carried out in various ways. Also, it is to be understood that the phraseology and terminology employed herein is for the purpose of description and should not be regarded as limiting.

Referring now to the drawings, a view of one embodiment of a guard-rail system 100 of the present invention is provided in Figure 1. Guard-rail system 100, as shown, is anchored in a ground shoulder 9 along a road, in this case, a sloping ground shoulder.

Guard-rail system 100 includes a plurality of support assemblies such as support assembly 2, which are adapted to support a guard rail 6, which is typically disposed along a length of a road.

With reference now to Figures 1 and 2, each support assembly 2 includes a standing post 3 and an upper post or elongated upper member 4, which may be interconnected by means of a hinge 7. A lower end of standing post 3 may be adapted to be anchored in a surface, such as a ground or road surface, in this case, ground shoulder 9. The opposite or upper end of standing post 3 protrudes above a top surface of shoulder 9. Hinge 7 may be located near an upper end of standing post 3, typically in the upper quarter of post 3, and more typically, in the upper 20%, the upper 15%, the upper 10%, or the upper 5% of post 3.

Elongated upper member 4 includes an upper end 4a, distal to hinge 7, which may be attached to guard rail 6, typically via a connection member 18 that may be attached to, or form an integral part of, elongated upper member 4. Connection member 18 may be adapted to firmly attach to guard rail 6, e.g., by means of bolts.

Preferably, elongated upper member 4 is disposed at an angle, with respect to standing post 3, that exceeds 90 degrees, when support assembly 2 is disposed in an initial, rest or undisturbed position (the angle shown in Figure 1 is slightly more than 90 degrees). Support assembly 2 may be adjusted, according to the particular conditions of shoulder 9, whereby upper end 4 of elongated member 4 is disposed above (i.e., higher than) the position of hinge 7.

As best shown in Figure 3, elongated upper member 4 is supported or fixed at such an angle by support or anchoring assembly 13. Support assembly 13 may include a support arm or element 13a that is fixed, near a first end, to standing post 3, and near a second end, to upper member 4. In the exemplary embodiment provided in Figure 3, a band 13b may be affixed (typically welded or bolted) to standing post 3. When installed, band 13b may rest on the surface of shoulder 9. The first end of support arm or element 13a may be secured to, or around, a bolt 13c, which may pass through opposite ends of band 13b, and be secured thereto. Similarly, a second end 13e (shown in Figure 2) of support arm or element 13a may be secured to upper member 4 by means of a bolt 14, which may be best viewed in Figure 2. Second end 13e may have a connecting element such as a clasp adapted to clasp bolt 14. This connecting element may enable upper member 4 to disengage from support arm 13a when upper end 4a of elongated upper member 4 is rotated upwards, e.g., due to a vehicle colliding against guard-rail 6.

A length adjustment or tensioning unit 13d may be disposed along a portion of support arm or element 13a, and may facilitate adjustment of the angle between upper member 4 and standing post 3, to a particular initial (undisturbed) angle, selected from a plurality of initial angles.

The inventive guardrail system may advantageously include energy- absorbing elements that resist the upward movement of guard-rail 6.

As best seen in Figure 3, an energy absorbing arrangement 1 1 may include a plurality of chain members 1 1a, l ib, each of which may be characterized by a different length. Chain members 1 1a, 1 lb may be connected, at a lower end, to standing post 3, e.g., by means of bolt 13c. At an upper end, chain members 1 1a, 1 lb may connect to bolt 14, as may be best viewed in Figure 2. Chain members 1 1a, l ib are adapted to resist the upward movement of elongated member 4. Preferably, chain members 1 1a, l ib are designed and adapted to be torn in sequential, or at least partially sequential, form: the shortest chain member may be the first to be broken, followed by the other chain members, in the order of increasing length. This sequence of tearing of the chains may absorb at least a significant portion of the collision energy, in a gradual manner, slowing the deceleration of the vehicle, and reducing the injury to the passengers.

Alternatively or additionally, support assembly 2 may be equipped with an energy absorbing arrangement 12, best viewed in Figure 4, which may include a plurality of collapsible members such as collapsible members 12a- 12c. Collapsible members 12a- 12c may be made of metal sheets bent into gutter-like units, or from pipes of differing diameters, each longitudinally halved, and cut transversely into short units, typically on the order of 5-15 cm in length. Collapsible members 12a- 12c may be connected to a lower side of lower end 4b of elongated member 4, with the collapsible members facing down. During a collision, when upper end 4a upwardly rotates around hinge 7, lower end 4b is rotated downwards. In this case, energy absorbing arrangement 12 will be urged against standing post 3, and collapsible members 12a- 12c will be consecutively or sequentially bent or compressed between standing post 3 and lower end 4b. Thus, energy absorbing arrangement 12 may provide sequentially increasing resistance to the turning of upper member 4.

Energy absorbing arrangements 1 1 and 12, may be designed and adapted to absorb the energy simultaneously, consecutively or semi-consecutively, e.g., depending on the lengths of chain members 1 1a, l ib, and the form and placement of energy absorbing arrangement 12.

Referring again to Figure 1, anchoring of guardrail system 100 may be performed by inserting standing post 3 of each assembly 2 into the sloping ground shoulder 9, in perpendicular orientation to the surface of shoulder 9. Typically, only a short portion of post 3 (e.g., less than 60%, less than 50%, less than 40%, less than 30%, or less than 20% of the length of the post) protrudes above the shoulder. Thus, the inventive support assembly 2 and guard-rail system 100 enable superior or optimal anchoring within sloping ground shoulders.

Other angle adjustment methods and gradual energy absorbing arrangements will be readily apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art, without departing from the spirit and the scope of the appended claims.

It will be appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention, which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable sub- combination.

Although the invention has been described in conjunction with specific embodiments thereof, it is evident that many alternatives, modifications and variations will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Accordingly, it is intended to embrace all such alternatives, modifications and variations that fall within the spirit and broad scope of the appended claims. In addition, citation or identification of any reference in this application shall not be construed as an admission that such reference is available as prior art to the present invention.